Roadsides Field Trip 15 September

Twenty people gathered on a beautiful sunny Sunday in the lovely 1873 Methodist church which now serves as the Muckleford Community Centre.  This was a combined event with Newstead Landcare with a focus on roadsides. The project is supported by a Strengthening Our Communities Grant from the Mount Alexander Shire Council.

After cups of tea and networking there were presentations from Kylie Stafford and Ben Goonan.  Kylie is the Natural Environment Officer from the Shire of Mount Alexander and she spoke about ways the Shire is going about improving their roadside vegetation management.  The Shire has recently adopted a new Roadside Management Plan and Kylie is working hard to get new procedures in place and train works staff in the biodiversity values of roadsides.

Next, ecologist Ben Goonan gave a presentation on his 4 years of work for the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA) collecting data on the quality of roadside vegetation and habitat on all the Council managed roads: 90,000 linear kilometres across 14 local government areas!  Ben explained the rating system, and demonstrated how we can access this information using iMap on the NCCMA website

Ben emphasized that local people are the key to protecting roadside values.  He recommends recording (photographing) sites we value and being vigilant about “keeping an eye” on them.


Ben then joined us on a bus tour to several different sites describing as we travelled how the roadsides would have been rated and why.  At each stop we were able to demonstrate works that Muckleford Landcare has undertaken along roadsides, and some of the issues being faced.


Among the examples from the field day of what we can all do to help improve the habitat value of our local roadsides are:
* report any ‘special’ species we think may have been overlooked by the NCCMA survey (email to  and;
* report to council any damage done to vegetation in grading of roads (phone 5471 700 and ask for the compliance officer);
* leave wood on roadsides for habitat, and report to council or DEPI or VicRoads (depending on whose road it is) anyone collecting wood from roadsides that are not in designated firewood collection areas;
* remove weeds from roadsides adjacent to your property
* increase the width of habitat corridors that roadside vegetation provides by planting indigenous plants on land adjacent to roadsides, or where some trees remain in the paddock but aren’t getting a chance to recruit then fence off the remnant to exclude grazing

It was a very informative 3 hours and we hope to arrange similar collaborations with Newstead Landcare in the future.


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